Press release | Date: 2016-04-25 | Ministry of Children and Equality| No: 16020
In order to gain more knowledge of how child welfare cases are handled, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision has now been given the task of reviewing a large number of urgent child welfare cases and cases involving children being taken into care.
Review of the Child Welfare Services
Minister of Children and Equality Solveig Horne announced a review of individual child welfare cases at a conference on trust and legal safeguards in the child welfare system in December last year.
‘We know that the Child Welfare Services do a lot of very good work, but they are often criticised, either for intervening too early or for intervening in the wrong way, or because they become involved too late. We want to get a picture of how the system works, how compulsory care orders are handled and of what happens in cases where the system fails,’ Ms Horne said.
The review will involve an examination of the way cases are handled by the Child Welfare Services, the role played by child welfare experts and the way cases are dealt with by the county social welfare boards.
Norwegian Board of Health Supervision to carry out review
The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision has been given the task of reviewing a large number of cases involving care orders and emergency orders with a view to ensuring the quality of the Child Welfare Services.
‘I am confident that the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision will do a good job. It is a highly regarded body with extensive knowledge of the child welfare system and rules, and it has overall responsibility for supervising the Child Welfare Services in Norway. The Board will be able to begin work on the review without delay,’ Ms Horne said.
The Ministry of Children and Equality is now preparing a mandate for the review, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision. This will set out in more detail what is to be reviewed and how the review is to be carried out. A temporary statutory provision will also be needed to allow access to information held by the county social welfare boards. The deadline for delivery of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision’s report will be specified in the mandate.
A variety of cases
The number of child welfare cases to be reviewed must be high enough to cover all parts of the country, both large and small municipalities, and cases involving children of all ages.
‘Taken together, the results gained from examining individual cases can give us information about which aspects of the system may be failing and why. The review will provide valuable knowledge that we can use to further develop the Child Welfare Services,’ Ms Horne said.